PipeChat Digest #4748 - Wednesday, September 8, 2004
 
Re: swell motors
  by <Seedlac@aol.com>
RE: Pet Peaves O'mine, pronunciations etc
  by "John Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net>
Swell motors
  by "Richard Schneider" <arpschneider@starband.net>
Re: Swell motors
  by "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com>
RE: swell motors
  by "Andrew Mead" <mead@eagle.ca>
"mechanical action" vs. "tracker action"
  by <TubaMagna@aol.com>
Re: What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Mattcinnj" <mattcinnj@yahoo.com>
Re: What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
RE: What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com>
Re: What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
Re: What is happening to today's church (part II)
  by "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net>
 

(back) Subject: Re: swell motors From: <Seedlac@aol.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 05:37:38 EDT   I think the amount of time and effort to do this correctly far exceeds = the simple rebuilding of the original system and the net results are not measurable. Each shade system has its strengths and weakness. Each will = need maintenance or repair at some point. As long as the original system was designed and constructed in a logical manner the better choice would be to keep as = originally designed. Steve Baltimore.  
(back) Subject: RE: Pet Peaves O'mine, pronunciations etc From: "John Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 03:55:28 -0700 (PDT)   There is, however, a design of mechanical action in which there are no = trackers and in which a sticker runs directly from the key and opens the = pallet. This is called a "pin pallet" action, and was sometimes used in = small chamber organs in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. John Speller   Will Light <will.light@btinternet.com> wrote: Yes- ditto! A tracker is just a long thin bit of wood which pulls = something at its other end. A similar bit of wood that pushes something is called a "sticker", but nobody ever calls an organ a "sticker action". Maybe = because it might suggest that something "sticks"  
(back) Subject: Swell motors From: "Richard Schneider" <arpschneider@starband.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 06:52:54 -0500   Gary Black wrote: -------Original Message------- > List, I have a question. Our 1946 unit Wicks is having swell pouch motor > problems. Two of them have blown out and the rest are still working. = Would > it be better to put a trace on the shades ( the motors now only open two > shades apiece) and install an electric swell motor or have the pneumatic > ones rebuilt? ------------------------------------ Having done this kind of conversion a number of times, I'll take a "stab" at providing some "Pros" and "cons" to the question: There are tonal advantages to dispensing-with the individual pneumatics and converting to a traced Swell shade control system for the Swell opening(s) operated by a servo motor: 1) individual pneumatics are usually set-up in such a way that the shades do not open much wider than about 45=B0, so not much sound gets out with these systems. 2) individual pneumatics are either "open", or "closed"!! While it is true that there is usually one smaller shade within the set set-up to open a minuscule amount, as the first "stage", there is no way to adjust this, generally speaking. 3) most individual pneumatic systems are set-up with the pneumatic power units positioned directly in front of the tonal opening, again serving as a great impediment to the egress of sound. Now the disadvantages of making such a change: 1) In some instances, the shades will not fully rotate to 90=B0, which is the real point of this exercise! Generally, that's because the shades were trained" in opening only so far over the years and the bearings may have become seized, so it can usually be overcome. In other instances, there may be limiter blocks installed to prevent further motion. In still other cases there is no room for the shades to swing fully wide, due, either due a facade or grille in front, or pipes behind the shades within the chamber! 2) Within a given installation using individual shade pneumatics, some shades are purposely cut wider than others, so a bit of Junior High Geometry is required to work out the operating angles for new shade trace arms to attach so that they will operate correctly without binding their neighbors. 3) Some shades open in opposite directions from each other, so a "trundle" to reverse the linear motion of the trace from the motor is required. Again more Junior High Geometry. 4) Finally, some installations are so "packed" that the shades are inaccessible without removing virtually all of the pipes to get a the shades to perform this work. Weighing those odds, would I still make the change? Most likely, but each installation has its own mitigating factors. You have to weigh the various Pros and Cons and make a decision accordingly. Hope this helps! Faithfully, Richard Schneider Be sure to visit our "virtual shop tour" at: http://www.schneiderpipeorgans.com/tour  
(back) Subject: Re: Swell motors From: "Andy Lawrence" <andy@ablorgans.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 07:53:36 -0500   I guess the concensus, which I agree with, is that restoring the original design would be far easier and cheaper. To convert is probably "better" = if cost is no object. I think I'd restore if it were me, unless I felt that the organ was really being prevented from doing its thing by shades not opening fully. An easy way to find this out would be to disconnect all = the actions and manually open the shades all the way (as far as their = mechanical limits allow) and listen to see if there is a difference significant = enough to be worth all the hassle. I have usually found that the tonal = difference between a shade open half way (45 degrees) and a shade open all the way (usually 80 degrees) is almost unnoticable. If I was starting from = scratch, I'd want 80 or 90 degrees of rotation for sure, but I'm not sure the difference is big enough to go through all the work and expense of = changing it.   If the pouches are easily accessible, and if your technician is not more than maybe an hour away, I'd even consider just rebuilding the ones that don't work (maybe he could remove them during one tuning, and put them = back in during the next tuning). Who knows how long the others will keep working? Why fix something that works? On the other hand, if you have to =   take the organ half apart to get to them, better do them all at once.   Andy     > > > List, I have a question. Our 1946 unit Wicks is having swell pouch = motor > > problems. Two of them have blown out and the rest are still working. Would > > it be better to put a trace on the shades ( the motors now only open = two > > shades apiece) and install an electric swell motor or have the = pneumatic > > ones rebuilt? > > ------------------------------------ > > Having done this kind of conversion a number of times, I'll > take a "stab" at providing some "Pros" and "cons" to the > question: > > There are tonal advantages to dispensing-with the individual > pneumatics and > converting to a traced Swell shade control system for the > Swell > opening(s) operated by a servo motor: > > 1) individual pneumatics are usually set-up in such a way > that the shades do > not open much wider than about 45=B0, so not much sound gets > out with these > systems. > > 2) individual pneumatics are either "open", or "closed"!! > While it is true > that there is usually one smaller shade within the set > set-up to open a > minuscule amount, as the first "stage", there is no way to > adjust this, > generally speaking. > > 3) most individual pneumatic systems are set-up with the > pneumatic power > units positioned directly in front of the tonal opening, > again serving as a > great impediment to the egress of sound. > > > Now the disadvantages of making such a change: > > 1) In some instances, the shades will not fully rotate to > 90=B0, which is the > real point of this exercise! Generally, that's because the > shades were > trained" in opening only so far over the years and the > bearings may have > become seized, so it can usually be overcome. In other > instances, there may > be limiter blocks installed to prevent further motion. In > still other cases > there is no room for the shades to swing fully wide, due, > either due a > facade or grille in front, or pipes behind the shades within > the chamber! > > 2) Within a given installation using individual shade > pneumatics, some > shades are purposely cut wider than others, so a bit of > Junior High Geometry > is required to work out the operating angles for new shade > trace arms to > attach so that they will operate correctly without binding > their neighbors. > > 3) Some shades open in opposite directions from each other, > so a "trundle" > to reverse the linear motion of the trace from the motor is > required. Again > more Junior High Geometry. > > 4) Finally, some installations are so "packed" that the > shades are > inaccessible without removing virtually all of the pipes to > get a the shades > to perform this work. > > Weighing those odds, would I still make the change? Most > likely, but each > installation has its own mitigating factors. You have to > weigh the various > Pros and Cons and make a decision accordingly. > > Hope this helps!     A.B.Lawrence Pipe Organ Service PO Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 (802)578-3936 Visit our website at www.ablorgans.com  
(back) Subject: RE: swell motors From: "Andrew Mead" <mead@eagle.ca> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 09:20:18 -0400     You've left out the best possible arrangement. Add a trace rod and have a direct mechanical link to the expression pedal. It's not always possible = to do this but if the console is close to the organ it should be at least considered.   Remember, the "swell motor" was developed in reaction to expression = chambers being placed too far from the console. I've seen mechanical links running = up to a hundred feet in total length. If it's done properly it's far better than any electric or electro pneumatic system.   -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of Gary Black Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 12:01 AM To: PipeChat Subject: swell motors     List, I have a question. Our 1946 unit Wicks is having swell pouch motor problems. Two of them have blown out and the rest are still working. = Would it be better to put a trace on the shades ( the motors now only open two shades apiece) and install an electric swell motor or have the pneumatic ones rebuilt? Curious minds like mine want to know. lol Thanks for your help. Gary     ****************************************************************** "Pipe Up and Be Heard!" PipeChat: A discussion List for pipe/digital organs & related topics HOMEPAGE : http://www.pipechat.org List: mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org Administration: mailto:admin@pipechat.org List-Subscribe: <mailto:pipechat-on@pipechat.org> List-Digest: <mailto:pipechat-digest@pipechat.org> List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:pipechat-off@pipechat.org>        
(back) Subject: "mechanical action" vs. "tracker action" From: <TubaMagna@aol.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 09:22:38 EDT   PipeChatters: The generic term "tracker action" came into general use amongst = American organists in the middle of the last century to describe ANY mechanical = action instrument. However, a tracker organ is one in which all of the long = members of the action are in tension, such as in suspended actions or those in = which the action runs through square rails. The following three articles may be read in sequence to give the = reader an introductory understanding of the subject:   "Mechanical Action: What It Is, What It Is Not." The American = Organist, Volume 37, Number 10, October 2003, page 51. "Components of Mechanical Key Action." The American Organist, Volume = 37, Number 11, November 2003, page 48. "The Slider and Pallet Soundboard." The American Organist, Volume 38, Number 1, January 2004, pages 77-78.   I continue to be stunned by the hundreds of organ-players I have met = over the decades who brag about how they refuse to read their copy of the Guild =   magazine when it arrives. The legions of people who proudly state that = they "never read it, just look at the cover" is alarming. By refusing to open = their professional journal, they don't just miss out on articles that help them understand their instrument. They are becoming willfully ignorant of = discussions on how to keep their jobs, defend their rights to benefits and fair = employment, develop themselves professionally, and even get the instrument or choir programming they want.   Sebastian M. Gluck New York City http://www.glucknewyork.com/   ..  
(back) Subject: Re: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Mattcinnj" <mattcinnj@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 08:04:52 -0700 (PDT)   Hi Josh and Everyone, I believe what has really "tilted" the average congregation's valuation of = the worth of a "real" pipe organ AWAY from it and TOWARDS digital = instruments .............. is basically the "cost benefit analysis" we all = do daily. We all do this, all the time, about everything we buy. Being brutally frank about this, they (average congregation member) does = NOT get a lot of emotional benefit from hearing the type of organ and = organ music that professional organists have been presenting ............. = since the mid 1950. Ditto the reason for praise bands springing up. = Also, most folks in a congregation prefer sounds they can relate to like = the piano and guitar over (the often out of tune) sound of pipes. The = average listener does NOT relate to nor likes mixtures and pre 1800's = music ! The folks in the 1800's weren't different from us today in this = regard !! They were very happy to get away from BACH. I often wonder that if pipe organs such as Ernest Skinner built weren't = "thrown out" and Romantic music instead of Baroque and Impressionistic = continued to be the "norm", .... if the average congregation would = appreciate the pipe organ more. I still find that many , many professional organists refuse to use either = Tremulants or Celestes along with very limited (if any) use of expression = pedals ! I believe an analysis of what kind of E-orgs are purchased would find that = the ones that have an abundance of strings, celestes, pretty solo reeds = etc., vastly out numbers those that don't. The sale of Theatre Organ models from various E-org builders, is (and = has been for some time now) increasing as sales of "classical" models = continues to decrease. For the average, church going person, this kind = of organ brings the kind of sound and plays the kind of musical selections = they enjoy and relate to. This is a favorable "cost / benefit" situation = ...... and money is spent on something perceived as worthwhile. Taking another step ............ the average congregation can "figure out" = that the cost of even the most modest pipe organ would more than pay for = more comfortable pews, a better parking lot, money for a new roof, a = couple of more bathrooms, new carpeting, new furniture for the Sunday = School ... etc. etc. etc. I'm not even bringing up monies that would = be used for charitable / missionary outreaches. They easily figure out = that the quality / comfort of their and their childrens church going = experience would vastly increase ..... if monies were spent for these = things instead of a pipe organ. My experience is that except for the organist, and a very small number of = folks in the congregation, nobody really cares about spending money to = "have the real thing". Unless one of those few people is willing to = donate the money for a pipe organ ............. the congregation will not = support raising money for one. In my own church, a year long "fund drive" for a new organ has resulted in = less than "$3,000.00. During the last 3 months, when many folks were = away, more than $17,000.00 was raised for a truck going to our African = companion parish. More money, in fact was raised in a single "chili = cookoff" evening than the organ fund's $3K. I honestly do not see this type of situation ever changing, Matt   atJoshwwhite@aol.com wrote: Hi all: I feel as if I must ad a couple of second thoughts, as to not offend = anyone on this list, and clear up any misconceptions someone might have = about my first posting. I want to make it clear that I do not believe that churches sporadically = go out and buy a Digital organ on a whim (althought it does happen), as = there are many cases when a lot of time and thought goes into the = purchase. Many times by the organ committee, or the organist, or even the = consultant. Also I am sure that many a Digital organ has been the largest = purchase some churches have ever made. The intent of my previous posting was simply to point out that, given a = little time and thought, a pipe organ might turn out to be the better = "deal" in the end. Our 84 year old pipe organ is a testimony to that. = Somewhere I read in the archives that it would bought in 1921 for around = $5,000. Think of all the electronic organs our church would have needed = to buy to have organ music for 84 years! Instead of cutting corners and = taking out the details, people should really think about the best use of = the churches money for years to come. There are cases I'm sure where a = small pipe organ would not fulfill the needs of a large music program, = however pipe organs could always be built for preparation. It is still unclear to my why large churches with more than enough = resources continually buy electronic organs. With this said, it is still easy to believe that time and money are both = contributing factors to the purchase of a digital organ. Thanks, Josh White     --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.
(back) Subject: Re: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 13:32:10 -0400   On 9/8/04 11:04 AM, "Mattcinnj" <mattcinnj@yahoo.com> wrote:   > In my own church, a year long "fund drive" for a new organ has resulted i= n > less than "$3,000.00.   I=B9d be curious to know more about what kind of church yours is, and others with which you have experience are. And where, and stuff like that.   I=B9m not familiar with a lot of congregations, but the four or five I know are Midtown Manhattan, mostly. They spend a lot on their pipe organs, and on promoting them, showing them off in recitals, etc. They draw their best crowds when the organ (and other =B3standard=B2 instruments) are featured.   It=B9s almost the diametrical opposite of what you=B9ve described.   And yet . . . it doesn=B9t take a lot of imagination to suspect that what you describe IS true of many OTHER Lutheran congregations within twenty miles o= f us. Could be. I think it must depend on some sociological factors that I don=B9t feel able to identify.   Alan www.stlukesnyc.org for photos (and we=B9re a SMALL parish of very modest means)      
(back) Subject: RE: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 12:35:13 -0500   And I'd be interested to know (in quantifying terms) just what a small parish of modest means is in New York City-for comparison.   =20   Daniel   Springfield, Missouri   =20   Alan www.stlukesnyc.org for photos (and we're a SMALL parish of very modest means)  
(back) Subject: Re: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 14:58:03 -0400   On 9/8/04 1:35 PM, "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> wrote:   > And I=B9d be interested to know (in quantifying terms) just what a small pa= rish > of modest means is in New York City=8Bfor comparison. >=20 > Simple. We=B9re 154 years in the same neighborhood, 81 years in our presen= t > building. Old Germn-Irish neighborhood, but now not nearly so residentia= l as > it was, and is classified by Census Bureau as =B3Bohemian singles.=B2 > Neighborhood is the Theatre District off Times Square; gentrifying quite > noticeably. Several new high-rise apartment houses close by, from which = we > draw no one. Largely our fault; we=B9re not TRYing! >=20 > Nave seats 270; choir is maybe 16. Sixty years ago we had several hundre= d > baptisms per year; now maybe two or three. Thirty years ago we had maybe= 90 > in church each Sunday; that remains stable. Age demographics are quite > healthy: young singles from elsewhere, with performing arts ambitions an= d > lots of talent. But little money. Most work as temps or as caterers, > restaurant waiters, etc. >=20 > Our 1922 Moller died 15 years ago; promptly replaced by II/23 Walcker tra= cker > from Germany ($160K). Liturgically we=B9re high, as are all the neighborin= g > ELCA parishes. Our music is pretty darn good, and our pastor is terrific= .. A > lot of our budget is met by renting out space to non- or semi-related mos= tly > secular activities (homeless shelter, off-Broadway theatre, Montessori Sc= hool, > church-related immigration/refugee service facility. Full time staff is > pastor, administrator, building superintendent (has apartment on premises= ); > cantor is part-time, but (even with three sons) can live on it as he is a= lso > assistant organist at the largest synagogue on earth. >=20 > Pastor is decently paid and housed (penthouse atop parish house); his wif= e > works outside the home (in the bishop=B9s office); we pay all costs for pri= vate > schooling for their two kids. >=20 > What=B9m I leaving out? >=20 > Alan Freed www.stlukesnyc.org >=20 >=20 >=20 > =20 >=20    
(back) Subject: Re: What is happening to today's church (part II) From: "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 15:03:38 -0400   On 9/8/04 2:58 PM, "Alan Freed" <acfreed0904@earthlink.net> wrote:   > On 9/8/04 1:35 PM, "Daniel Hancock" <dhancock@brpae.com> wrote: >=20 >> And I=B9d be interested to know (in quantifying terms) just what a small p= arish >> of modest means is in New York City=8Bfor comparison. >>=20 >>=20 I should have added: Members=B9 names on the books, maybe 140. We DO take i= n new members, regularly. But we also LOSE members regularly. This kind of community, by definition, has something of a revolving door. We hold even from year to year, but just barely=8Bor maybe a BIT of net gain each year.   Alan